TESTIMONIALS – Youth Entrepreneurship Education
Head teachers, Assistant Head teachers, Academics   The 4-day course - UK and internationally

ST MATTHEW ACADEMY, Lewisham – Principal, Monica Cross
”Dear Susan

I wanted to express in writing the thanks I have given you every time you have run a Tsu’Chu Biz course for us at St Matthew Academy.

You are well aware of the nature of the students we have presented you with! They have by and large been those who were becoming disaffected and demonstrating reluctance and disengagement with learning – who despite their ‘sassy’ attitudes and ‘street smart’ talk seriously lacked belief in themselves as successful learners and lacked confidence to tackle situations outside the familiar.

The Tsu’Chu Biz courses have made a spectacular difference to all the young people who have taken part. We have been amazed at what a lasting difference it has made to the self-confidence and attitude of the students who have been through the course. When we talk now to those who went through the courses – they all tell us what an impact it had on them and how much it raised their self-esteem. It is also apparent when we run our termly Enterprise Weeks – that the students who are willing and eager to lead teams and participate most enthusiastically are those who have been through the Tsu’Chu Biz courses.

I can also tell you that two of the students who succeeded on the first course are already operating successfully as entrepreneurs running their own part-time businesses and quietly building up capital – and business experience. They are both students from difficult backgrounds – one who was involved in gang activity – and it is quite marvellous to see how the course and the self-belief it engendered was the springboard for them to change their lives. I am confident that in the future there will be others who will move onto successful business careers sparked by their experiences with your team.

If we could – we would happily put all our students through the Tsu’Chu Biz course! As it is we are doing our best in these difficult financial times to raise sponsorship again so that you can run another course for us.

Thank you and Tony and all your team once again – and long may you continue to deliver such inspiring and life-changing experiences for young people.”

LANGDON PARK SCHOOL, Tower Hamlets – Deputy Head, Mary O’Brien   “We really enjoyed attending the Tsu’Chu Biz Cup Final at City Hall and we feel that the experiences that our students gained from the course and subsequent competition were life changing.”

GEORGE GREEN’S SCHOOL, Tower Hamlets – Head of Business Education, Rob Birkett   “I can confirm that J and P are all interested in being allocated a volunteer mentor (for their business). All of the students thoroughly enjoyed the recent Tsu’Chu Biz course and their enthusiasm for the subject has been tremendously enhanced. I would like to thank you for providing the students with this opportunity and hope that you would consider George Green's School again if any future opportunities arise.”

WOOTTON UPPER SCHOOL, Bedford - Assistant Headteacher, Iain Stewart
“Dear Susan and Team,

I am writing to you to express immense gratitude to you all for the work you recently did with our students. The experience our Year 12 students recently had on the Tsu’Chu Biz course was, quite simply, the best experience I have seen our students have in an external setting and with external providers in more than 10 years of teaching. It is fair to say that the body of 21 students would unanimously back up this view. The students from the other class who were unable to take part are all disappointed after the positive word of mouth appraisals from their peers.

I thought it spoke volumes about the dedication and focus of the Tsu’Chu Biz mentors that they were able to provide such a unique and positive experience. Each of the mentors knew the students by name very quickly and genuinely seemed to care about their individual progress during the week. The students have all remarked that they felt they were treated in a very adult fashion and, I believe, many responded accordingly. The success of the programme is as much to do with personal progress as it is to do with academic progress. The transferable skills developed with mentors were superb. It is only sad that more students can’t share the experience.

The mentors were able to develop real relationships which are sometimes difficult at school when teachers and students are constrained by the “treadmill” of many school days. The course has enabled students to complete a piece of A Level coursework but also enabled them to develop confidence and team working skills that should also set them in good stead for other subjects.

The students gained immensely from the social/personal side of the course but also came back with improved academic knowledge that they have utilised in class and in assessed coursework. Their motivation and, as a result, attendance and punctuality have also been noticeably very good. The course seems to have enthused the students about Business and the concept of being entrepreneurial. Many wish to continue their business ideas in the near future.”

HASTINGSBURY BUSINESS AND ENTERPRISE COLLEGE Bedford, Teacher - Dean Phelan   “After speaking with the lads they said they really enjoyed the course and it has showed in lessons as their confidence has risen & they are more assured in the business studies work they have produced. They loved the football but found the financial part tough going but once they worked through it in the business plan it all made sense. I found the course brilliant & have recommended it to the head of business and the head teacher that if the opportunity to come on the course arises again we're to jump at the chance because as I said, the boys and I got so much out of it.”

DE LA SALLE SCHOOL AND LANGUAGES COLLEGE, Essex – Headteacher, Dr Mike Curnock, BEd (Hons), MA(Ed), MCollT, LicCIPD, MIoD, NPQH, FRSA, ACIEA, PhD. Extracts from his report

SIR JOHN CASS SCHOOL, Tower Hamlets - Deputy Head, Nathan Carter   “From my point of view it was an excellent course which enabled our learners to develop many transferable skills. It will also enable our pupils to obtain a head start on many of the BTEC National units.”

“Dear Ms Kaye

Following on from the debrief I attended with yourselves last week, I felt it was only right that I put everything I said in writing. Firstly, I would like to offer my personal thanks to the Tsu’Chu Biz mentors for a fantastic job in leading the four day course at the University of Bedfordshire. They were nothing but professional, knowledgeable, humorous and friendly and they treated me as one of the team, for which I am thankful.

The students I accompanied on the course benefited greatly. They learnt a number of topics that have yet to be covered on our A Level Business course which has given them a distinct advantage over the rest of the class. Linking most of the topics back to football helped my students recall the subjects better than they had done previously, which in turn led to them achieving a high grade in their mock exam.

As the course progressed it was clear that all the students were gaining in confidence. This has also been translated back into the classroom where they are now more inclined to get involved in class discussion and group work.

I was extremely impressed with the way the mentors taught each subject and how they scaffolded the work students were generating, without even realising it, through their ideas. This is something I strongly feel that our members of staff could learn from.

In closing, we wouldn’t hesitate in sending other students on this course, and hope that they get the opportunity, so that they can also benefit greatly from the experience as the previous group have. Congratulations on a job well done.”

CHARTERS SCHOOL, Sunningdale, Berkshire – Deputy Head, Steve Harvey   “Just wanted to say a personal thank you for the excellent work done in the event last week by all of your team. Certainly professional to the n’th degree, but lovely people too who clearly have the best interests of the students at heart. Not often that we can say that when we involve non-teachers with students. The benefits to the pupils and to us as a school will probably not be realised for some time, and with certain individuals I think it will have had quite a significant impact.”

HASTINGSBURY BUSINESS AND ENTERPRISE COLLEGE, Bedford – teacher, Susan Cook   “With regards to the course - the kids loved it. I felt it gave them confidence not only with their business knowledge but also in presentation skills, meeting deadlines and interaction with other businesses. The mentoring was brilliant and it gave them a 'taste' of how businesses should operate. I think this stage in their year 12 course it was one of the best things they could have achieved - well done and thank you.”

UNIVERSITY OF BEDFORDSHIRE – Associate Director, Nigel Hall   “As a judge on the recent Tsu Chu Biz held at the University of Bedfordshire, I was highly impressed by the standards achieved after the four day programme. It was clear that a lot of business-focussed and life skills learning had taken place within a positive, fun-filled environment and there was a definite "buzz" about the place as we witnessed and judged the excellent presentations.”

ANGLIA RUSKIN UNIVERSITY, Bedford - Senior Lecturer Accounting & Finance, Helen Keady   "Tsu'Chu Biz offers an excellent opportunity for young people to learn about business and their own abilities in an innovative way. The creativity, effort and enthusiasm were inspiring. It would be wonderful to see more young people being given the chance to participate in such events. A memorable experience."

UNIVERSITY OF TEESSIDE, Dean, Social Sciences and Law, Liz Barnes   “What I have seen today and the growth in these children even from this morning – and the vocabulary they are using – they are showing they are just the kind of people we want in universities. I think any university would be pleased to work with you to ensure that they really do build on this and take this forward in the future.”

ABU DHABI WOMEN'S COLLEGE, UAE Lead Faculty - Dina Al Alami, Business Diploma B.A., CELTA, M.Ed.   “I have so much to write about the positive results of your program. I would like to thank you for your great program, wonderful results, and friendship that blossomed in 4 days! I have not seen my student enjoy learning so much, it was like they were partying and studying. I would recommend your program again for the next cohort.”

AL ZAYEDIA SECONDARY SCHOOL FOR GIRLS, Al Ain, UAE – School Principal, Mrs Maryam Al Yabhooni   “Al Zayedia Secondary School for Girls would like to thank you on behalf of the pupils and teachers who had the opportunity to participate in the Tsu Chu Program in April this year. You helped our students to gain self-confidence and gave them an opportunity to practice English in a very good way. Moreover, you helped them to think as business women and use their creativity and collaborative skills to produce amazing outcomes. All staff who were able to attend were surprised by the quality of the presentations and the confidence of the students. It was very pleasing to see families attend in such numbers, and especially to see fathers attending, which is a new development in traditional thinking. We hope to have the opportunity to extend this experience to more students in the future. Thank you.”

HIGHER COLLEGES OF TECHNOLOGY, UAE - ABU DHABI WOMEN’S COLLEGE, Business Programs Department Chair – Philip West  
“I am writing in regards to providing commendation as to the efficacy of the Tsu'Chu Biz Course. My name is Philip West, Chair of Business Programs at Abu Dhabi Women’s College (ADWC). ADWC is a branch campus of the Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) and is the largest institution of higher learning in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with over 18,200 students.

In June of this year, ADWC had the distinct pleasure of offering the Tsu'Chu Biz Course to a group of 20 female Emirati first year English as second language college students. This initiative was based in part on the fact that HCT places a strong emphasis on delivering innovative, project-driven and student-centered curriculum.

The effect that the Tsu'Chu Biz Course had on this inaugural group of students was absolutely phenomenal. The students participating in this course were given the opportunity to develop their interpersonal teambuilding skills while at the same time inspiring their entrepreneurship. In fact, two of the businesses plans developed during this course have received praise for their innovativeness as well as an offer of sponsorship from the UAE government.

As a result of the success evidenced above, I highly recommend the Tsu'Chu Biz Course as a curriculum enhancement offering students the opportunity to develop their business acumen, leadership, communication and social skills.”